Friday Update

Friday Update 12-27-13

December 29, 2013


Friday Update 12-27-13

Greetings faithful readers. A slightly shortened Friday Update coming your way this week as we traverse the holiday season with family and friends. 2014 will be an important year for reinterpreting and re-visioning the way we look at children’s mental health. So let’s start with one of my favorite reinterpretations of a classic Beyoncé song – All the Single Ladies, by Sara Bareilles. Enjoy the song, marvel at the many ways to interpret art and beauty, and get ready to rock in 2014. Oh yeah, don’t forget to read our golden nuggets for this week!

Most important reads for this week

Time to dig deep…. It’s our final call before the end of the year!
We continue to be grateful to those of you who have made a tax-deductible donation to the Children’s Mental Health Network this year. For those of you who haven’t contributed yet, no worries, there is still today, tomorrow, and as a bonus December 31st. Just think – three days to make a donation to help support Friday Update and the Children’s Mental Health Network and take a tax write-off. What a deal… Remember, to ensure our independence we do not take government funds. It allows us to both celebrate the good things being done in federal government and provide tough love when needed. Beyond that, we pride ourselves on bringing you news that is relevant to you each and every week. Eighty-four straight weeks of Friday Update and counting. Yowzer. That’s gotta at least be worth a tax-deductible donation to help keep Friday Update coming to your inbox. We average donations about $25.00. As a small non-profit every dollar counts. This is our final appeal of the year for your hard earned dollars (I will pause for sighs of relief) so make it happen Network faithful! Dig deep and donate what you can to help keep it going. Click here to show your support and thanks again. Friday Update will always remain free. Help us ensure it stays that way for another year. Thank you!

Proposal decisions have been made for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference   
Decision letters to those who submitted proposals were sent out last week. Be sure to contact me at by December 30th so we can finalize your part in the agenda. Looking forward to seeing you at the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in Tampa, Florida March 2 – 5, 2014. 

Georgetown Training Institutes – are you ready?
Be sure to put July 16 – 20, 2014 on your calendar and get ready for the premier training event in children’s mental health offered by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health. Thanks to all who submitted workshop proposals. We will keep you posted on the decision-making process as it moves forward.

Got grit? Four strategies for how system of care leaders can use their brain’s braking system to increase perseverance and personal resilience
Guest Morning Zen contributor and Network faithful Laurie Ellington continues our education on the relationship between neuroscience and leadership in systems of care. We are sharing her most recent paper on the topic in this Morning Zen post. Get some grit and enjoy!

Still a terrifying way to discipline children: one year later
Frequent Morning Zen contributor Bill Lichtenstein is out with another excellent article in the Huffington Post about the ongoing struggle to wake the nation up to the continued abuse of seclusion and restraint taking place all across the country. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 40,000 students were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year, with the majority of those having learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs. African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained. Don’t miss this important article and learn how you can help support the efforts of an amazing group of parents who are championing this fight.

Family Acceptance Project – addressing health and related risks for LGBT youth
The Family Acceptance Project™ (FAP) is the only research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness – in the context of their families. The FAP use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families to decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children. I have had the pleasure of meeting the inspiration behind the project, Caitlin Ryan. Caitlin fits the mold for what it means to be a passionate advocate and tried and true Children’s Mental Health Network faithful. Her spirit and commitment to making a difference for LGBT youth is obvious when you meet her and only grows when you hear her speak about her close to 40 years of tireless advocacy around LGBT health and mental health issues. In this season of giving, take a look at the work she and her organization are doing. You will be impressed and hopefully inspired to help them along on their journey.

Revised autism screening tool offers more precise assessment
An updated screening tool that physicians administer to parents to help determine if a very young child has autism has been shown to be much more accurate than earlier versions at identifying children who could benefit from further evaluation, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers — Revised, with Follow-Up (M-CHAT–R/F) — is a free, two-step screening tool used to detect children likely to have autism. It is intended for use at regular well-child checkups for children 16 to 30 months old. With the M-CHAT-R/F, health care providers can classify a child’s risk of having autism as low, medium or high, on the basis of parents’ answers to 20 questions.

“This checklist can more accurately identify children likely to have autism so they can get the treatment and support they need,” said Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that funded the study. “Given that the typical autism diagnosis occurs at age 4, it also offers the possibility of detecting autism much earlier — during regular doctor’s visits when a child is 18 months or 2 years old. And earlier intervention has been shown to improve outcomes for children with autism.” The free autism screening tool is available online in more than 45 languages. Check it out Network faithful.


Is Friday Update workin’ for ya?

A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work to improve and expand our coverage of pertinent issues for children’s mental health advocates, families, policy makers and just plain folk who care about making our communities stronger. So in the spirit of innovation and change what would you do to improve Friday Update for 2013? Send us your ideas. We are grateful for any and all feedback especially for ideas of how we can improve upon what we offer you. Not signed up yet to receive Friday Update every week? Sign up now and get the latest information you need to help you improve services for children and families. Forward a copy of this Update to a colleague and be a part of spreading the love about children’s mental health far and wide. Just be sure to give us a wee bit of credit, okay? 

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Let us know what you need from the Network!   

We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We run this operation on your donations. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to on our website useful, take one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax-deductible donation. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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